WEEKLY HABIT 3
FAST FROM SOMETHING FOR TWENTY-FOUR HOURS
The Habit at a Glance:
We constantly seek to fill our emptiness with food and other comforts. We ignore our soul and our neighbor’s need by medicating with food and drink. Regular fasting exposes who we really are, reminds us how broken the world is, and draws our eyes to how Jesus is redeeming all things.
TO LIVE WITHOUT FASTING IS TO LIVE WITHOUT TRULY KNOWING WHO YOU ARE.
An Excerpt From The Common Rule:
In a world of suffering and death, one of our greatest temptations is to rehearse the fall again and again through food. We eat to try to fill
our emptiness. This is why fasting is mentioned so often in the Bible. Fasting is a way to resist the original sin of trying to eat our way to happiness and to force ourselves to look to God for our fullness. In that sense, to fast is to lean into the truth of the world: we are empty without God. “Man does not live by bread alone” (Deuteronomy 8:3).
In fasting, what begins with experiencing the emptiness of our stomach ends in experiencing the emptiness of the world. In the Bible, fasting is not just to reveal and clarify our own need for God.
It is to lean into the suffering of the world itself and to long for God to redeem it. This is why the Israelites during the time of Esther fasted; they knew the brokenness and injustice of the throne they lived under, and they longed for God to redeem it.
This is partly why Jesus fasted before he began his ministry. He was sent to undo the fall, and his forty-day fast was an act of longing for the world to be restored by his ministry to come. He emptied himself in a bodily prayer for the world’s fullness.
Reading and Resources:
Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster
A Hunger for God: Desiring God Through Fasting and Prayer, John Piper